Two-hundred and thirty-six years ago, nearly to the day, after our founders signed the Declaration of Independence, the Roberts Supreme court ruling on Obamacare will make nearly every American dependent on the government for his or her very well-being.
June 28, 2012 will be America’s first dependence day.
In 1963, President Johnson, shortly after the Kennedy funeral, in his first days as President, sublimated his hatred of JFK’s cabinet members in order to beg for their support for the pending, first-in-American history, tax-cut legislation. Prior to the assassination, during LBJ’s tenure as vice president, Kennedy’s privileged, Ivy League cabinet members made no secret of their disdain for Johnson who they considered a Texas rube. Yet President Johnson sucked up to them because he needed their support along with that of the Democrat controlled Congress in order to push through tax-cut legislation. Kennedy had convinced the party to believe that across-the-board tax relief would actually expand the size of the economy and in so doing, increase tax revenues necessary to launch the great society/welfare state.
What today’s Democrats have forgotten is that the Democrats of 1963 believed in the logic of tax-cuts for the rich and middle class as means to grow both the economy and government. Oddly enough, the Republicans were against the tax cuts, worrying that the short-term fall in revenues would be damaging to the cold-war military buildup. But both parties believed across-the-board tax cuts would ultimately cause the economy to grow, such were Kennedy’s persuasive powers.
Tax rates were dramatically reduced and after a short lag time, the economy boomed.
Johnson won the Presidency in ’64, and pushed through the massive Great Society spending that includes Medicare, Medicaid, and the myriad War on Poverty programs in place today and which have grown exponentially. The great irony is that Johnson’s Great Society and our resulting welfare state were made possible by supply-side tax cuts originally proposed by JFK.
Professional Democrats now live in an alternative universe where they believe in their own rewritten version of history — a nice way of saying they believe their own lies. We fast forward four decades to the ’08 presidential debate where Obama is famously asked by Charlie Gibson why he would favor raising capital gains taxes when the Bush tax rate reductions on capital gains (like the Kennedy tax-rate reductions) caused the tax revenues from the sale of securities to markedly increase. Obama replied that he would still consider raising the rates as a means to impose “fairness.” We were warned.
I remember watching the debate and found the Gibson/Obama exchange stunning on two counts.
One, I was stunned that a prominent member of the leftist main-stream media would ask a question that might threaten its own mythology.
And two, Obama was clearly blindsided, clearly ill-prepared to provide carefully crafted equivocation, with no idea as to whether the facts that Gibson presented were true or false.
My estimation is that his deer-in-the-headlights response was due to the fact that faculty lounge Marxists probably don’t make a habit of questioning their carefully constructed dogma, especially troublesome facts.
Should Obamacare not be repealed, it will be realization of a dream first dreamt by FDR and by all successive Progressives since the 1930’s. As Jonah Goldberg puts it in his brilliant new book, The Tyranny of Cliches – How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas:
“…the Democrat Party has become the tail on the dog of special interests, particularly labor unions, racial grievance peddlers, feminists, limousine liberals,…”
And as he points out, when the party fails bring into their tent the middle class, albeit crudely defined, it loses electorally. In 1972, Nixon won in a landslide by appealing to the “silent majority.”
Since FDR the Progressives’ game has been to make or at least, create the illusion that each its special interest groups, the “pantheon of the aggrieved” is dependent on government, dependent on government for funds or freedom from discrimination. But dependence, real or perceived, is the key. While Bill Clinton had some success at bringing the middle class around to believing that the Democrat party was the best steward of its interests, the deal was not truly closed. Bush won two terms. Obamacare, socialized medicine, is the game changer.
It has nothing whatever to do with helping the uninsured. It is about hooking the middle class on government. Even though Obamacare has 21 new taxes in it, two-thirds of which will fall on the middle class, this will only hasten and increase broad middle class dependence.
If Obamacare is fully implemented, the Democrats calculate that they will never be voted out of significant office, establishing a permanent collectivist majority. And those who understand their game will look back and tell their children and grandchildren that before its implementation this was still a free country.